Have you ever been to a place and felt so at home that you knew you wanted to come back, perhaps even to stay? Did you have thoughts of buying a second home, maybe a cabin next to a lake or a beach house on a bluff with a panoramic ocean view? If you’ve ever visited Maine, chances are you have been so tempted. The beauty of the state’s wildlife rich interior and Atlantic coastal areas does tend to mesmerize those who visit. Combine these natural wonders with cities and towns that are perfect blends of historic ambiance and modern comforts and you have an even more inviting locale. No matter if you are looking for a vacation hideaway or seeking a new way of life, Maine’s real estate agents and brokers can help you find your perfect personal space.
Maine’s Real Estate Market
Maine’s real estate market is an active one. During the first three months of 2012, 8,486 homes were listed and 2,827 changed hands. A good percentage of these were second or vacation homes. In February alone sales were up 29 percent over that same month in 2011. Homes remain affordable, with prices less than in many United States markets, making Maine attractive to investors. Maine saw a 5.5 percent increase in home sales overall, with the largest sales volume in more rural places such as the Aroostook Region and the Maine Highlands, prime vacation home territory.
On the commercial front, as well as for those looking for apartments or condominiums Portland is a hot ticket. The easy access to city services, transportation, entertainment, a creative arts community, top-end restaurants and outdoor recreational venues make this city attractive to young and old. Small businesses sometimes come up for sale. Some newcomers choose to follow their dreams and build a business from the ground up.
What a Real Estate Agent or Broker Can Do For You
The words “broker” and “agent” are somewhat interchangeable. Most real estate agents work under a broker. A broker is a company that does not lend money but rather brokers loans to investors or larger lenders. Some agents also act as brokers.
While some real estate agents do work with home buyers and sellers, most tend to concentrate on one or the other. A listing agent is the one that is offering the home for sale. That agent earns a commission by advertising and showing your home, taking and presenting you with offers and helping to coordinate the financing when the home is sold.
When you buy a home from a real estate agent, that agent takes note of what type of home you are looking for and where you want to live. As an example, if you were looking for city property in Maine, the agent may concentrate the search around the Greater Portland and Casco Bay Area. If you want a secluded hideaway in an area with more moose than people, then your agent might send you to somewhere in the Aroostook Region. Once you find a property, or several properties of interest, the agent will arrange a showing of the home/homes. Find something you like? Your agent will submit an offer to the selling agent and the negotiations begin. On acceptance of the offer, the agent will take care of the legal paperwork. Commission fees vary between agencies.
Where to Find a Real Estate Agent or Broker in Maine
Maine has literally hundreds of real estate agents, most of them centered around larger population areas such as Portland, Augusta and Bangor. It makes sense to find an agent in the locale you are interested in, but if you aren’t sure starting with a licensed real estate professional in a large town is a good first step. As an example, a real estate agent in Wells on the southern coast would be more familiar with the area’s beaches and their adjacent neighborhoods. Another agent located in Ellsworth in the Acadia Region knows the ins and outs of finding a home in that part of the state. Realtors in the state of Maine are licensed to sell properties throughout the state.
What to Look For in Your Real Estate Agent
How do you know if a realtor is right for you? Since all realtors in the state must pass stringent exams to become licensed, finding a qualified agent is the easy bit. Sometimes it comes down to personality or personal preference. You are probably going to be spending quite a bit of time with this person, on the phone, looking at homes, filling out forms, doing whatever it takes to find you the perfect home. Finding an agent that you truly like and that is eager to work for and with you, is the key to a happy Maine home buying experience.